An Event
Without Its Poem
Is An Event
That Never Happened


For Pau Cata’s Research Project
Moving Knowledges: Towards a speculative Arab art residency proto-history.
Developed as part of a practice-led Ph.D. in Art at Edinburgh University
Edinburgh College of Art


Hi, Pau!
Apologies for the little delay of our response. We’ve been on the move and had to be in sync from afar during the lockdown. We would like to thank you once more for inviting us to collaborate on your project in terms of design. After taking an overview at your project, and particularly at the section you assigned us 'An event without it’s poem’, we wanted to take the time to properly elaborate our feedback and thoughts. So in this very practical email we will be addressing 3 aspects: 1. Structure & Design / 2. Design approach / 3. Practicalities


The structure and design is about the identification + organization of the levels of information that your work is dealing with. We have identified the following: — Section titles. Ex. 3.1. Exhaustion and Exhuberance— Titles. Ex. The. Great Forgetfulness, Rihla, etc. — Dates and the places. The ones that are used to introduce these diary-like fictional paragraphs— Body. Main textual corpus.— Quotes — Entry quotes— Quotes in the body— Special quotes. Ex. The poem under ’Spring Session’. — Dialogues— Footnotes— Images + captions.

Our theory is that applying style to theses nuances of content, gives them unique character and texture to the corpus. This is not separable from the typographic reflection. The typography itself will be a direct expression of that structure. In terms of spatial organization (call it the geography of the page), and in terms of font. In effect, we have also identified that some of the words that you use have diacritics. The latter are important phonetic elements, but are not necessarily designed into all fonts. So our reflection will also be about finding a font that fit with the broadest demands of your text.


This is about the concept. It will determine the structure and design. We would like to propose that we take on 2 major concepts: Paratext (we briefly discussed about during our last call); completed by Diagrammatic writing. To expand a bit further on paratext, we wanted to point out at its nuances: editorial paratext (cover, title, etc); author’s paretext (foreword, dedication, etc.); peritext (footnotes, etc.). These nuances do reflect a sense of structure. However, they tend to create an inner/outer logic within the content. Yet, we understood that some of the hierarchies in your book are not merely vertical, or inner/outer. They can also be horizontal [...]

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